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Tequila & Chocolate Pairings

by Gunars Valkirs April 25, 2020

Tequila & Chocolate Pairings-Maui Kuʻia Estate Chocolate

In preparation for Cinco de Mayo, I tasted many of our chocolates together with three Casamigos Tequilas, Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.  As a quick reminder, Blanco is the youngest, aged less than two months if at all, Reposado is “rested” in large oak barrels for 2-12 months, and Anejo is aged in smaller oak barrels for more than 12 months.  In general Blanco is the purest expression of the flavor derived from distilling blue agave, Reposado adds some oak and sweetness, and Anejo adds more oak and other complex flavors including caramel.


I tasted all of these (someone had to do it!) with our three newest chocolate products and our two other standards, 65% dark chocolate and 60% dark milk chocolate, that have been the basis of our products until these new releases.  In general, the chocolates work best with the Blanco and Reposado and not as well with the Anejo because of the pronounced flavor of oak.  Of our new releases only the 78% dark chocolate from Costa Esmeraldas stood up to the intense, complex flavors of the Anejo because that chocolate is similarly intense and complex.  The Blanco and Reposado both worked well with the new chocolate from wild Amazon cacao (70% cacao) and our own Maui grown Made in Maui chocolate (72% cacao).  The fruitiness of the Maui chocolate was complemented by both Blanco and Reposado which both have a pronounced fruitiness.  I am a fan of Reposado because it retains the fruit of the Blanco and injects some sweetness from esters developed by aging but not overwhelmed by oak.  If I had one Tequila to drink to complement our chocolate it would be Reposado. 


Similar findings were found with our 65% dark chocolate and our 65% dark milk chocolate with a couple of exceptions.  Surprisingly, the 60% dark milk held up to the oakiness of the Anejo!  I believe that the reduced sugar content of the 60% dark milk and the general property that milk has to reduce the intensity of flavors had a lot to do with this.  I did not try any of the flavored chocolates with these Tequilas with one exception, 65% dark chocolate with lemongrass essential oil, our most polarizing product.  Some people think it is the best product we make and others just don’t get it.  I tried it with the Anejo and it worked well together even though the 65% dark chocolate without lemongrass did not work at all for me with Anejo.


One last comment is that because of the high alcohol content of Tequila, it can be mixed in limited quantities with the melted chocolate in your mouth.  Trying this with water will not work and liquids that have a high water content like beer and wine will inhibit the melting of chocolate.  Therefore, Tequila opens up an almost infinite number of chocolate/Tequila combinations and I encourage you to enjoy them responsibly.


Dr. Gunars Valkirs, CEO


Gunars Valkirs
Gunars Valkirs


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